While taking a breather from playing tag at the wet park with my crew this evening, I was taken aback by the beauty of the coloured leaves that were scattered across the ground. Suddenly I found myself picking up and placing the different colours in a bunch so I could take a picture.
Each leaf represents a different story. Each leaf is at a different stage in its life, growing from greens and changing to oranges and yellows, then to purples and deep reds, before taking their last bow and turning to brown.
These changed leaves, for me, resemble parenting (yes, I’m feeling a bit sappy, bare with me).
I mean, we all start out so sure of ourselves and the decisions we know we’ll make once graced with children. Face it, we are all perfect parents to hypothetical children. Except, as time moves forward and we are living with the reality of our once hypothetical, we notice how many more colours there.
Parenting is not all black and white, just like a leaf never stays the same shade of green before turning into a different colour entirely. It’s colourful. It’s spontaneous. It’s exciting and it’s vibrant. Our views and our choices change with time, just like leaves change with seasons.
Maybe instead of being so hard on ourselves for changing tactic when realizing that our reality is so much harder than our hypothetical, how about embracing the change and allow ourselves to work through any given situation as natural as a leaf turning colour.
We don’t have to get it right the first time, nor do we need to do exactly what we said we’d do. More importantly, we should change the way we want to and not the way someone – or society, including the sanctimommies – tells us we should.
Let’s give ourselves the permission to change and parent as easily and naturally as the leaves change their colours. Everyone knows what’s best for them and their families, just like a leaf knows when it’s their turn to start their change.
This piece also appears on The Antsy Butterfly